GFM Network News


The original wood framed EM38 complete with store string. Readers of Henry’s Handbook can check out page 81 to get the story behind the store string.

Les Henry: The EM38 Field Scout

The EM38 always gives the right answer — what that answer means in terms of soil interpretation is up to the user and experience

This piece is intended primarily for PAgs and CCAs and the farmers they serve. Field scouting of crops and soils has become an important part of the services provided. Grainews carries a regular column highlighting examples of crop-problem scouting by agronomists with Richardson Pioneer. I read the column each issue and often learn something new […] Read more

Taking the soil microbiome to lunch

Taking the soil microbiome to lunch

Research is just starting to reveal life below the soil surface

Any farmer who has ever asked questions about whether the wide range of crop biological products are necessary and really work to benefit the soil or serve to improve crop yield and quality need to keep asking questions. It is not that the marketplace is full of suspect product claims — the biological industry has […] Read more


This well data can be interpreted as a 30-year net cumulative drought from 1975 to 2005.

Les Henry: On salty ground

We’ve come full circle in the soil salinity cycle

This topic was not on the to-do list for this winter. Soil salinity is a very hot topic right now and many farmers are concerned they will have no land to farm if it carries on like this. The last time I remember such concern about soil salinity was during the late 1970s and early […] Read more

The photo above shows compaction in a wheat field. Adam Gurr, who has been practicing CTF on his farm since 2011, has observed the most obvious source of compaction-related yield loss is a result of in-season traffic, most notably any seeding prep, seeding and sprayer traffic that occurs on wet ground.

Interested in controlled traffic farming? Start with small steps

CTF can prove both practical and beneficial, even with a step partway toward controlling in-field equipment traffic

For Prairie farmers who measure land in hundreds or thousands of acres, how much does it really matter if you drive your equipment a handful of inches this way or that way? A whole lot, says Adam Gurr, a Manitoba producer who completed a master’s degree in agronomy focused on controlled traffic farming (CTF) and […] Read more


As late as 1987, one big rain event did all this damage to a summerfallow field near Eastend, Sask.

Les Henry: Soil productivity, quality and health

Nature and nurture

Soil health is a prominent topic in current scientific and farm management literature. It is good to see attention being paid to the soil resource our industry depends on. In this piece, we will try to unravel some of the principles and the practical application of those principles. From the get-go, we must realize farming […] Read more

The MobiLab requires precise but not difficult sample preparation and processing.

iMetos releases its newest version of MobiLab

A fast, easy-to-use, portable soil lab that measures nutrients from soil and plant sap

To maximize crop yields depends on optimizing nutrient management: applying the right product at the right rate, at the right time and in the right place. Since no field is perfectly consistent, the challenge lies in figuring out what precise nutrients are needed where. Enter MobiLab, an easy-to-operate, portable lab that produces on-farm, lab-quality, soil […] Read more


Some crops are a little more salt tol­erant — like canola shown above as well as alfalfa, corn, oats and wheat — and you will probably not see sig­nificant yield loss until you hit a conductivity number of about two mS/cm, says Lyle Cowell with Nutrien Ag Solutions.

Crops and saline soils

Plant something, but choose carefully

When it comes to planting most annual cash crops on saline land, Lyle Cowell does not mince words: stop. “When a cattle farm has a cow that is no longer productive, that cattle farmer will not continue to try to breed that cow. It will be culled,” says the agronomist with Nutrien Ag Solutions in […] Read more

John Deere says its new line of heavy harrows features a quick folding and unfolding sequence to help farmers move more quickly between fields. (Deere.com)

Degelman to make heavy harrows for Deere

Regina company reaches OEM agreement for new line

Major U.S. farm equipment manufacturer John Deere Co. has launched a new line of heavy harrows — and is going to Saskatchewan to get them. Regina equipment maker Degelman Industries announced Tuesday it has reached an OEM (original equipment manufacturer) agreement to provide Deere with a line of three heavy harrow models, the HH50, HH70 […] Read more


A soil core showing the dry layer from one- to three-foot depths. In this situation, the only plant-available water is in the top foot. Roots will not penetrate the dry layer to access the moist soil beneath. Sufficient rain must fall to wet up the dry layer before the deeper moisture comes into play.

Les Henry: Soil moisture and rain

One plus one does not always equal two

Soil moisture as a soil management issue has finally come into its own with the advent of tech savvy young folk using soil moisture probes to get real information in real time. Thanks to those who provide me with information to help make the annual, three-province, Soil Moisture Map as of freeze-up. To make a […] Read more

Friendly Acres Seed Farm’s Kevin Elmy is the founder of Cover Crops Canada and the author of Cover Cropping in Western Canada.

It’s all about making healthier soil

Get soil chemistry and organisms back on track

What do you want to change about your cropping operation? That’s the first question farmers need to think about as they look into the relatively new world of regenerative agriculture (regen ag). It’s a big subject area, with plenty of variables, layers and “twists,” say agronomy consultants who work with producers on implementing regen ag […] Read more